On a crisp fall day in Wyandotte, Okla., Randy and Jeff Parmley take a break from working cattle to explain why their family farm doesn’t play the ‘trend game.’ “We don’t jump on trends,” said Randy Parmley. “We just breed consistent cattle – simple as that.”
Randy established the Christian based farm in 1972, while still servingin the Navy. Since then, he and his son Jeff have expanded the operation little by little – always focusing on improving genetics. “After some experimenting I settled on Simmental, then after 10 years looked for something that complemented them well,” explained Randy. “Angus made a great cross.”
The Parmleys maintain two separate purebred herds (Angus and Simmental), but the majority of the more than 350 head cattle operation are commercial Angus cows that are bred to homozygous black, homozygous polled Simmental bulls. “We furnish breeding bulls with the commercial cattleman in mind,” stated Randy.
Jeff, who also works at the Ottawa County Extension office, partnered in the family farm with his father after graduating from Oklahoma State University – where Randy is an alumnus as well. “We started partnering on groups of cattle and after college I purchased another farm and we’ve expanded ever since,” said Jeff. “Our cattle are on track with today’s industry – we want our bulls packed full of meat and looking like a range bull.”
With today’s farming comes higher costs, and the Parmleys have always worked to control overhead costs to remain competitive in the cattle market. “We can produce cattle at a lower cost than bigger operations because we don’t over extend ourselves,” Randy said.
The farm uses rotational grazing intensively and have since the start of the farm. Almost all pastures are cross fenced and cattle are on a pasture anywhere from a week to three weeks, depending on the number of cattle and size of acreage.
About 15 years ago, the farm began crossbreeding their two cattle herds and within the last 5 years the market for the Simm-Angus cross has taken off. “We’ve seen a big interest in our half-bloods and been selling a lot of bulls,” said Jeff. Randy added, “Guess we were ahead of the curve on this one.”
Working as partners Randy and Jeff strive to continue furnishing cattlemen with proven performance stock. According to Randy, his family has a love for their land and their cattle and that’s what makes a family farm succeed. “We don’t follow fads,” Randy stated. “We just raise quality cattle, with an eye on improvement at all times.”